Driving Ecommerce Traffic and Sales from Google Image Search

Driving Ecommerce Traffic and Sales from Google Image Search

According to this data from a report by Moz.com, Google Images receives a whopping 26.79% of all searches.  Incredibly, Google image search receives 7X more searches than Youtube, and 10X more than both Bing and Yahoo search:

(Source: https://moz.com/blog/state-of-searcher-behavior-revealed)

Despite that massive traffic, many e-tailers are not taking advantage of this channel.  Couple the huge traffic, with a recent change in the Google Images search algorithm, and Ecommerce sites with incredible imagery could be sitting on a goldmine.  The update basically funnels more traffic off of Google to the site where the image is actually hosted, rather than displaying the image on Google itself.  The Google Search Liaison team recently posted this update:

Today we’re launching some changes on Google Images to help connect users and useful websites. This will include removing the View Image button. The Visit button remains, so users can see images in the context of the webpages they’re on.

While this may seem like a small change, it will have a dramatic effect on the amount and quality of image-based traffic to ecommerce retailers.  Here are four things you can do to take advantage of this shift:

  1. Optimize your images.  This Search Engine Journal article lists 14 things to do immediately.

2. Improve you imagery.  Just like on Pinterest and Instagram, on Google Images, beautiful lifestyle images perform much better than boring product-based shots.

3. Leverage your happy customers.  While a full scale photography studio is out of reach for most retailers, user generated content often works better anyway.  Retailer Lauren James uses this strategy very successfully.  There are thousands of lifestyle images submitted by customers in their #lifeisbetterinlj tag on Instagram:

4. Find an ecommerce platform that enables shoppable lifestyle images.  While there are multiple (expensive) shoppable image providers, Engine is the first to build a shoppable lifestyle image creator directly into the ecommerce platform itself.  Interactive content like these images from Houzz convert can convert an order of magnitude better than standard, boring product shots on a white background:

Written by
John James, M.D. is the CEO of Engine, an upcoming ecommerce software platform currently in closed beta. I paid for medical school with an ecommerce business I founded in my dorm room over twenty years ago, and eventually raised over $100 million in venture capital running Acumen Brands. Email me -- john at engineinsights dot com.